THE GOSPEL WAS ALWAYS PLAN A: GALATIANS 3:6-14
From the foundations of the earth, God’s eternal purpose was the gospel. One might wonder, however, what was the function of the Old Testament in general and the law specifically. After all, aren’t we to live good and moral lives according to the 10 Commandments and all? Good people go to heaven, right?
Sure, good people go to heaven.
The problem is, there is only one who is good. Jesus says plainly to the rich young ruler whom asked him on how to gain eternal life, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone?” (Mark 10:17)
How good is good enough? How many good things must one do and how much must one restrain themselves from sin?
For the law-lovers of ancient Galatia (and a timely message for our own time), the churchies and religious folk boasted about all the good stuff they were doing—and in fact insisted on such moral check-lists of do’s and don’ts to be part of the Jesus’ community.
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Gospel. There is no “your part” in the gospel; no “I must do ______” in your salvation.
No amount of good deeds, changed behavior, or wallowing guilt will remove one fraction of the sinful stain left on one’s flesh and soul.
Religion’s answer is to spray perfume on this corpse and hope no one notices the pungent scent of decay. And perhaps most don’t. After all, if everyone around is giving off the same oder, who’s to say it is you?
Paul makes some extreme claims about where humanity stands on this issue.
“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (Gal. 3:10)
Unless you are perfect, you are cursed. The obvious answer is, then, that you are cursed. Paul comes to this same conclusion.
“No one is justified [found innocent, right, moral] before God by the law [by effort, moral actions, obedience to rules, rituals, and traditions].” (Gal. 3:11)
No Hail Mary’s, acts of contrition and penance, or moralizing revives us. Christ does.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” (Gal. 3:13)
We were cursed, doomed, and had no hope. Languishing in our own death and aguish was our destiny. But Jesus became our cursed selves, having no curse of his own, and broke the curse through his death.
Jesus took our cross. He took our sin, neither of which did he have of his own, and died for us as us. Jesus became humanity to save humanity. He took human sin so that sin would be separated from humanity.
Jesus completed the impossible task that no human could…no saint, holy man, or pure virgin. All were sinful. All were cursed. And all find their freedom and hope in the man/God Jesus.
This was always the plan.
And this idea may be the most profound. God never expected us to be able to doit ourselves. He never anticipated us to be able to obey the law. We could never do it—not 2000 years ago, not now, and not a thousand years into the future.
God was never surprised at the fall of man. And He is never surprised at your failures.
He had always planed to redeem you as his own.
His love was always plan A.
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